Mediating Banal Populism Through Vlogging in the Philippines

Jefferson Lyndon D. Ragragio


The belligerent us-versus-them divide typical of populism is central to the expression of contemporary politics. Political leaders and their social media entrepreneurs, however, are increasingly embracing nonantagonistic measures to embolden their appeals to different publics. Using the concept of mediation, banal populism represents a complex bundle of nonconflictual and fun practices that target the personal and political sensibilities of the digital publics. Through an analysis of vlogs of Philippine leaders Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte, this article presents the narratives of local politics, light moments, sectoral people, and golden years and unity, and traces the implications of these accounts on the affordances and democratic limits of networked platforms. Banal populism seductively captures the shared sentiments of the digital publics much as it portends a spoiling impact on free speech and political participation.


mediation, populism, digital politics, free speech, nationalism, democracy

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